iPhone 15 USB-C? It’s complicated | ENBLE

iPhone 15 USB-C? It's complicated | ENBLE

iPhone 15: The Evolution Continues


When Apple introduced the Lightning connector in 2012, Apple executive Phil Schiller called it “the modern connector for the next decade.” Little did anyone know that this prophecy would hold true, bringing unimaginable changes to the iPhone over the past decade. But the question remained: would Apple stick with the Lightning port or make the switch to a more standard USB Type-C with the iPhone 15?

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models, as confirmed during Apple’s September 2023 event, are finally embracing the USB Type-C port. This marks the first time that any iPhone has utilized a standard USB connector. The initial iPhone models featured the 30-pin dock connector, but in 2012, with the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple made the switch to the Lightning connector for a more compact and reliable means of charging the iPhone and syncing data. The lightning port also took on the role of an audio connector with the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7.

For years, Apple has held onto the Lightning port, citing concerns about e-waste and the need for users to replace their cables and accessories. However, an EU directive mandates that all smartphones, tablets, and headphones sold in the region must feature USB Type-C as the sole charging port. With the directive taking effect in 2024, Apple has no choice but to comply. Rather than having separate connectors for different regions, Apple will revamp the connector for all areas.

While USB-C is a standard port, the charging and data transfer speeds vary based on the generation. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models will utilize a USB-C port based on USB Gen 2 specifications, similar to the 2022 10-inch iPad. This limits the data transfer speeds to 480Mbps. The charging speeds of the iPhone 15 are expected to max out at around 30 watts. On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Pro models will rely on USB Gen 3, with theoretical charging speeds of up to 100W and data transfer speeds of 10Gbps. However, there are rumors that the actual charging speeds for the Pro models may be lower than expected.

One downside is that Apple will only supply an older USB 2.0 cable within the iPhone 15’s box, limiting charging and data transfer speeds. To enjoy faster charging speeds, users will need to purchase a separate cable that supports the USB Gen 3 protocol. While this contradicts Apple’s stance on e-waste, the separate cable will likely be more durable than the one included in the box.


Unlike the MacBook and iPad Pro models, the iPhone 15 Pro does not appear to support Thunderbolt, a more advanced charging and data transfer protocol with speeds up to 40Gbps. However, Apple offers a USB-C to USB-C cable for fast charging the iPhone 15. For a more durable cable that also supports fast charging on other Apple devices, such as the iPad Pro and MacBook, users will need to purchase a cable with Thunderbolt 4 support.

DisplayPort support is another notable feature of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models. Users can project 4K video at 60Hz onto a larger display by using a USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter or a generic USB-C to HDMI adapter. Alternatively, a USB-C to DisplayPort cable can be used if the TV or PC monitor has DisplayPort functionality. Users can also connect their older Lightning cables or accessories with the Lightning connector by purchasing a dongle from Apple.

Overall, the iPhone 15 marks a significant evolution for Apple, embracing the standard USB Type-C port while still providing the sleek design and functionality users love. With faster charging speeds and the ability to connect to larger displays, Apple continues to push the boundaries of innovation, ensuring that the iPhone remains a top contender in the world of smartphones.